What experience or background do you bring to your counselling that is uniquely yours?
I think my personal journey with mental health challenges provides me with a unique insight into the counselling experience.
I also think my candour is something that is helpful in creating really deep and meaningful connections with my clients. Authenticity is our superpower, and I try to model that!
What is your favourite thing about working closely with people every day?
Creating a safe space for someone to feel their feelings. In our society we are so programmed to go, go go, that we rarely stop to take stock of our inner experience. In counselling you get to flop onto a comfy chair, sip some tea, and reclaim an hour for yourself.
What is a personal challenge that you have overcome in your own life?
During high school I developed anxiety. It wasn’t a classic presentation of anxiety (I loved musical theatre and performing on stage), but inside I struggled with a lot of negativity in my brain, perfectionism, and eventually developed an eating disorder and insidious body image issues. During my undergraduate degree, my anxiety was showing up as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Finally I committed to 8 months of psychodynamic therapy (my roommate walked me to my first appointment) and started to unpack the years of compounded anxiety and depression that I lived with. Learning about myself and my anxiety was so helpful in removing the power it had over me. One of my psychologists told me that my own experience with mental health challenges would make me a better practitioner, and I know it has.
What have you learned from your work?
Every person has a story and it is an utter privilege to walk alongside people for a chapter (or two) of their lives.